Monday, August 1, 2011

"The Boy [Sid]" - Early Life of the Buddha (film)

Seven Dharmachari (Wisdom Quarterly)

The Boy Mir - a decade in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, possibly the real Kapilavastu

Following the international hit "The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan," THE BOY MIR will cover not one year but ten. It will track the cheeky, enthusiastic Mir from a childish 8-year-old to a fully grown adult. Over that decade, it will be a journey into early adulthood in one of the toughest places on Earth, a journey that mirrors the current and vitally important story of Afghanistan.

"A fascinating peek at everyday rural Afghan life" - Denis Harvey, Variety.

"Surprising, fascinating and fulfilling…An unforgettable portrait of a boy and a country" - Ron Sutton, IDA Documentary Magazine

History of Sid
Where was the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama from? He was from Kapilavastu. Where is that? No one knows for sure, or they may know but modern politics gets in the way of saying.

What race was he? He was Shakyan. What is that? He lived on the northwestern frontier of ancient India. What race would that be today? No one knows for sure, or they perfectly well know but modern politics gets in the way of saying.

Wisdom Quarterly: American Buddhist Journal is willing to say. Of course, we only have facts, informed opinions, and the ancient texts to go on. We certainly do not have the support of the Nepal tourist council, corrupt British scholars (now deceased), or popular opinion.

The Buddhas of Bamiyan and the Boy Mir -- rural Afghanistan was once a cosmopolitan crossroads due to travelers along the Silk Road.

It is perhaps best to start with the standard interpretation of the story: Siddhartha Gautama, the Shakyan prince, was born in the Terai of southern Nepal, just outside of India, in a lush park named Lumbini. His mother was on the way to her ancestral home (Devadaha) to give birth as is the custom in India, a few miles from Kapilavastu. But birth pangs arose in the park, and Siddhartha was born under a Sal tree while she stood holding a branch.
(This detail is important because, as Wisdom Quarterly has pointed out elsewhere, it mirrors or perhaps was the origin of the mythology of the Salabhanjika, the tree beautiful tree nymph of Indian lore). Siddhartha grew up in relative splendor, being prepared to rule the territory of Kapilavastu. He had a white pony named Kanthaka. He was married to his cousin Yasodhara at 16. He liked sports -- archery, horseback riding, and his studies, enjoying the equivalent of a college education fit for a future king, which taught him all the arts, sciences, and agrarian business skills he would need to govern.

He had blue eyes, wavy black hair, was very handsome and relatively tall. He had fair skin, like all the Shakyans, which he described as "golden." Race then is not as it is now. At that time there were three colors of skin: black, brown, and golden.

Race -- a controversial topic today -- has always been a socially constructed category, not the naturally occurring one we imagine. UC Berkeley professor Tim White, like other scientists, dismisses "race" as a useless category that does not signify anything scientifically useful. It is so unreliable a measure -- particularly in terms of phenotypes but also nearly useless in terms of genotypes -- that physical anthropology has no use for it. Dr. White was one of the co-discoverers of humanity's African ancestor Lucy.

Of course, we do consider race extremely important. So cultural anthropology has to recognize it. But what the field recognizes is that various human groups use it differently. Most people on Earth today do not hold the American view of four major races, which are clear and distinct (by color, geographical origin, and of course temperament and innate capacity for such things as intelligence and fitness to rule over others).

In short we are racist; that is, American culture (and the imperial British, German, and European cultures it is based on) is racist. Most Americans would never admit to bias. Indeed, most of us are not aware of our biases or the deep-seated reasons for them.

That's why it's always good to know some racists: Nothing brings out our own small and cumulative bias into the sharp relief of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Norwegian terrorists, and Southern Christian fundamentalists (to be fair, not all of them).

Most of the rest of the world categorizes one into a race group based on appearance. So full blooded siblings in the same nuclear family (from the same parents) are considered different races as determined by their appearance or phenotype. Americans do this, too, until we have more information -- accent, surname, national origin, religion, creed, what other family members look like...

Brazil and Cuba are excellent examples of cultures that go based on personal appearance. It is not that one in other parts of the world is presumed to be of one "race" until all the information is gathered. One is that race and will continue to be in spite of other mitigating information. Race is fluid, but for us it is very stiff. In the past we Americans were more racist than we are now. Any trace of another race in the bloodline made one that other race.

So being a tall, Nordic blond with 1/16th "Negro" (essentially, non-white since Negroes were not limited to Africans) made one black). We were borderline on the subject of racial "purity," and pedigree was imperative. That is not to say that we were alone in this. Bloodlines have always meant a great deal to the ruling class (royals), as our closeted German forbears attest.

Was the Buddha Caucasian?
What is "white"? The Buddha was Shakyan. What does this mean? It means he was Central Asian. Are Central Asians "white"? No, they are a melding of Asian and Caucasian, sometimes called Eurasian.

What does it mean to be Caucasian? It literally means descended from the peoples of the Caucuses mountain region -- an extraordinary region. It is extraordinary partly because it is part of the Himalayan range but mostly because it separates Asia from Europe.

From an American perspective, many of those people would seem to be white. But clearly their faces have Asiatic features. Their skin, hair, and eye color might get them labelled white, but their heritage and geographical origin would do to the Buddha what was done to Christ: It makes them geopolitically Middle Eastern. (Thanks to the CIA definition of the changing political climate).

BBC documentary: Jesus was Buddhist monk

Jesus was from the Middle East? Jesus was probably black -- from northern Africa, a meeting place of continents, growing up in Egypt and traveling like a Bedouin -- at least according to the Bible, namely, Saint John of Patmos. (But as Bible-loving, Judeo-Christian Americans, we ignore that part of the Book of Revelations, obviously a late inclusion into the canon).

There are fascinating theories that Jesus and his mysterious forbears were pharoahs. (See Jesus in the House of the Pharoahs, Jesus Last of the Pharoahs). That is certainly not the history we are taught in Sunday School, but then history is a socially-constructed phenomenon, not a hard science. Our favorite theory -- which meets history's gold standard, written documentation -- is that Jesus (called Issa in India and the Islamic world) was a Buddhist monk as suggested by the British Broadcasting Corporation, hardly a biased, Buddhist news source.

Imagine the implications -- the creator of the universe is Black, Buddhist, and ever so compassionate. Of course, these are just human-historical constructs that can be deconstructed. Would humans really bend history to suit themselves? Of course we would. It has been happening to Christianity since at least the Roman Empire got its hands on the Christian Church and its official history-keeping duties. The truth never stood a chance of becoming common knowledge.
  • Why bring up Jesus? He is regarded as the most famous human who ever lived. The Buddha lived at least five centuries earlier, and has lived on in history five centuries longer. The Buddha was for much of that time the most important human who ever lived. He is called the Prince of Peace and the Light of Asia, but this disguises how influential he was to the Caucasus region of Central Asia. Christians, not to be outdone, call Jesus the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World. If Jesus had studied Buddhism and been ordained a monk in Hemis Gompa, Ladakh, India/Tibet, as is documented in writing by the Buddhist monks in that region, might his teacher not be deserving of more recognition? Long before either the Buddha or the Christ, surely Mithra (another Central Asian figure) was the most famous human who ever lived. And eventually Mohammed will be. If a popularity contest were the equivalent of truth, we vote for another Middle Easterner Gilgamesh/Bilgames (of Sumeria). The shamans, the pharoahs, Krishna, the whole Adamic "race" of humans has had its "most important human" along with its "gods" (devas, asuras, and brahmas). And while there was probably no actual Adam or Eve (and let's not forget Lilith), it's easier to talk about the group through the figurehead of a single man and woman, which has the largely ignored benefit of making us all brothers and sisters, just as Lucy makes us all cousins.

What a place to be from!

It is brilliant that the Bodhisattva (buddha-to-be) was born between continents. And we would extend that same compliment to Jesus. Whereas the Buddha links Asia and Europe, Christ links Africa and Europe. But we see what "Christians" have done in the name of white supremacy. They have taken a black figure and made him white.

If Buddhism continues to enjoy the same widespread influence and adoption in the West that was seen in the East, he too will almost certainly be converted into a "white" man.

He is already considered an Indo-Aryan (not in the sense the Nazis appropriated and made infamous thanks to the history they constructed for themselves using Madame Blavatsky's material, a Russian mystic who understood that the Buddha was essentially if not technically Russian. For the USSR once extended throughout most of Central Asia. Siberia has a long Buddhist history.

Ivolginsky Datsan Siberian Buddhist temple, Russia (

Anna Reid traveled the length and breadth of Siberia -- 1/12th of the world’s land surface, larger than the United States and Western Europe combined -- to tell the story of its people. Drawing on sources ranging from folktales to KGB reports, and on interviews with shamans and Buddhist monks [shramans] in The Shaman’s Coat, a unique and intrepid travel chronicle.

Ancient Persia (now Iran, which means Aryan), Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are just a few of the ancient outposts the Dharma reached and influenced, creating the strangest and nicest of all Islamic hybrids, Sufism. But the USSR failed to win its second most important conquest -- the incorporation of Afghanistan -- assuming its most important conquest would have been to conquer the West. But, surely, Russia is the "West," too? Russians are "white," except for the formerly Central Asian colonies that reverted to nonwhite status.

Archeology, history, and Buddhist texts suggest the Buddha was Afghani. Of course, there was no such thing as "Afghanistan." And centuries later when Islamic and Arabian hordes conquered the area, the Dharma that once prospered and meant so much all along the Silk Route was rubbed out of the fabric of daily life.

Are Middle Easterners white? They certainly look like it. But many in Southern Europe have a hard time getting into the exclusive club. Were ancients Greeks white? Was Nefertiti white? "White" has no hard and fast meaning. So the answer is, They are white when it suits the powers that be to call them white in recognition of their magnificent accomplishments.

Ancient Greece -- such as the Indo-Greek empire of Bactria (Balkh) -- was Buddhist before Buddhism caught on in China. But certainly Greece is the fount of the West? Is it only a coincidence that the ancient land of the Shakyans (also spelled Sakyans) is on the map as Sakala, Sakae, and Sakastan (modern Afghanistan, nowhere near Nepal).

Kapisa, Kapilavastu? Sakala, Sakyan territory? Sakastan, the extent of Sakyan territory? Sakae reaching toward Tajikistan? Were the Sakas the Sakyas (pronounced Shakyas) gone unrecognized because British history by Fuhrer says the Sakyas lived in Nepal? The Shakyan clan's rule ended with the conquest of the Buddha's extended family who remained in the world by an angry relative retaliating after finding out he was half-slave, half-Sakyan. The Buddha explained that even his interventions were not enough to overcome the force of a rare instance of collective karma ripening for his father's clan.

Whites and Europeans consider Greece the fountainhead of science, art, empire. Buddhist contributions to our history have not been credited to the Buddha, but to Greek philosophers influenced by Indian travelers and the Dharma that reinvigorated greater India after the ancient Vedic civilizations had fallen into obscurity.

Aryan Invasion theories are another topic entirely, but suffice it to say that who the original Aryans were would surprise many. They were not Nordic tribes coming down from Germany and Austria to teach the subcontinent enlightenment and advanced technology 5,000 years ago as Hitler, Goebbels, and Dr. Mengele might have suggested. (Nazis were adept at spin doctoring, taking parts of spiritualism and mysticism, namely Blavatsky's and the Theosophists, and fashioning them to meet their own ends. It is tantalizing to realize that the Nazis did not lose WW II, as is commonly suggested in the new propaganda that supplanted the old.

The NAZI mentality is alive and well in many of the countries that welcomed war criminals to secretly exploit their scientific advancements in clandestine services, intercontinental rocket technology, the development of nuclear bombs, and space travel. Not only America's now defunct OSS, but NASA, the CIA, Pentagon, Moussad, ISI, KGB, and above all the British Mi6 (SIS), who seem to have been secretly ruling the world since inheriting the empire from Rome.
Afghanistan is Russia's "Vietnam." Or as they say in the former USSR, the Vietnam War is America's Afghanistan. Just as we inherited Vietnam (and secret wars on Laos and Cambodia) from imperial France, we inherited our troubles in Afghanistan from the British (Anglo-Afghan wars) and a longstanding CIA/Russian conflict.

This is strange because now Afghanistan is America's Afghanistan, having lasted longer and cost so much that our society may never recover -- unless the incredible conclusions of the following report are true:

UFO discovered in Afghan cave's time well

It is hard to say what makes Afghanistan so important -- but the fact that it is important, strategic, and intractable is explained by Fitzgerald & Gould ( A more remarkable tale comes from the arena of exopolitics and an alleged vimana (ancient Indian spacecraft) caught in a "time well" there.

Why else would the world's leaders go into the Afghan war zone? But is the world ready for "disclosure" about ancient astronauts (Indian devas and Zoroastrian asuras), extraterrestrial weapons systems, and the real history of the planet our rulers have held back? The war in heaven (space) rages on, as explained by Steven Quayle on Coast to Coast.

In conclusion, the Buddha was Central Asian, a frontier Indian. For ancient India was not actually a country with certain borders. It was a collection of 16 maha-janapadas ("great footholds of the tribes" or "territories of powerful family clans"). Kapilavastu was in Afghanistan, in the confluence of Caucasian and South Asian cultures.

Durand or Zero Line border between Afghanistan and Pakistan (in red). The blue area represents the predominant Pashtun and Baloch areas.

Until recently, Pakistan was Gandhara, India. The exiting British made it so. They also drew a "zero line" (Durand) separating what we call Afghanistan from what we now call India, whose borders remain in dispute. Neither China, nor Pakistan, nor Tajikistan (prompted byfasura the Kremlin) are ready to yield to India, which was once a superpower.

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